Martin Place – the community sends condolences

December 16, 2014 by  
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The Australian Jewish community is shocked and appalled by the terrifying taking of hostages at Martin Place on December 15 and ensuing events, and is deeply saddened by the news that the incident has ended with the deaths of two innocent people, Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson.

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From The Executive Council of Australian Jewry`president Robert Goot and executive director Peter Wertheim:

We pray for their souls and share in the sorrow, grief and revulsion caused by the heinous crime which claimed their lives. May their families be granted strength at this time of great pain and may the survivors be healed fully, both physically and emotionally.

We pay tribute to the NSW police and supporting federal agencies for their dedication, professionalism and absolute commitment to the preservation of innocent life. Australians are fortunate to be served by people of their dedication and calibre.

The perpetrator of the crime was a lone disturbed individual with a criminal history who cloaked his personal grievances in Islam and Islamist ideology. His evil actions must not be allowed to sow discord in our tolerant, multicultural society, or to weaken the resolve of our government to fight those who seek to inflict terror on innocent people at home and abroad.

On the contrary, we have every confidence that this terrible tragedy will unite Australians and harden our nation’s commitment to fighting violent extremism and incitement to ensure that this sort of tragedy is never visited upon our society again.


From Jeremy Spinak: President of the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies:

NSWJBD290logoThe NSW Jewish Board of Deputies expresses sorrow at the tragic death of two innocent Australians in the Martin Place siege. Our thoughts and prayers are extended to their loved ones, as well as to those who were injured during the siege. We hope for their full recovery.

We commend the government agencies – specifically the law enforcement authorities – for their handling of the crisis and hope we will never again witness the sort of tragedy which brought the centre of Sydney to a halt.

From Dr Danny Lamm: President of the Zionist Federation of Australia:

zfalogoThe Zionist Federation of Australia expresses our abject horror and sorrow at the terrible crime which was perpetrated in Martin Place on December 15. We also extend our condolences to the families of Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson, who were so tragically killed by Man Haron Monis in his crazed and destructive act of terror on innocent Australian civilians.

We welcome the fact that the voices of Muslim leaders have been amongst those condemning this heinous act. People of good will and in particular faith leaders must continue to speak out against those that foster evil and attract individuals who cloak their acts in false piety or distorted religious belief.

Whether or not Monis acted with the intent of representing ISIS or any other terrorist group, he was obviously inspired or driven by his Islamic fundamentalist beliefs, as evidenced by his attire and the flag he displayed during the siege. The dangers of extremist Islamic fundamentalism are a real and unfortunate threat to our otherwise safe and tolerant society.

Our thoughts go out to those injured and affected by the siege yesterday.

From executive director Dr Colin Rubenstein and National Chairman Mark Leibler:  The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council:

AIJAC logo 1AIJAC wishes to convey profound condolences to the families and friends of Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson, the two tragic victims of the appalling Martin Place attack in Sydney on December 15. We also extend our best wishes for a speedy recovery to all the surviving hostages. We AIJAC's Jeremy Jones pays his respects in Martin Placehope they will all draw strength and comfort from the thoughts and prayers of all men and women of goodwill.

AIJAC further expresses our admiration for the NSW Police, supporting agencies and Australia’s political leaders, federal and state, for their compassionate professionalism, resolve and calm statesmanship at a difficult moment in our nation’s history.

Episodes like the one yesterday only re-emphasise that bigotry, intolerance, incitement and hatred need to be confronted, condemned and marginalised by all responsible communal and elected leaders. Terrorism and violent extremism, in all their ugly and threatening manifestations, must be fought with all due seriousness – using legal, political, diplomatic, cultural, intelligence and, where necessary, military means – if we are to maintain Australia’s harmonious and cohesive society.

adcThe B’nai Brith Anti-Defamation Commission and B’nai B’rith ANZ have offered their sincere condolences and support  to the families and friends of  Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson who were  killed in the tragic Martin Place attack.

Dr Dvir Abramovich, Chairman of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation commission and Morris Tobias, President of B’nai B’rith ANZ, issued the following statement:

“This attack is an attack on all of us, and we extend our heartfelt condolences to the families, loved ones  and colleagues of Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson. Our thoughts and prayers are with them as they, and our nation, grieve at this dark and sorrowful moment. May their memory help to create an Australia free from the senseless hate and brutality that took their lives. Such horrific incidents remind us that it is our duty to resolutely counter  and denounce all manifestations of extremism and hatred and to ensure that a culture of intolerance never strikes roots in our proudly multicultural and civil society.

We commend the leadership and response by the NSW police, political leaders and Federal agencies that so ably and responsibly worked together under such testing circumstances to deal with this heinous incident.”

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